August 27, 2016
11am to 5pm
Santa Rosa, CA
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Our monthly Vital Alchemy meetings
are held at the Sebastopol Grange Hall
vi·tal ˈvītl/ 1. absolutely necessary or important; essential. 2. full of energy; lively
al·che·my ˈalkəmē/ 1. the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. 2. a power or process of transforming something common into something special
Next group meeting:
Wednesday, Oct 19th at 7 pm
Making Mead at Home
We will be discussing the pros and cons of making mead with a commercial yeast strain or allowing wild fermentation to take place.
3rd Wed of each month at the Sebastopol Grange Hall
Please read below for details
Join us on the third Wednesday of each month at 7 pm for a discussion about fermenting basics at home.
Vital Alchemy is a monthly fermenters group that was formed to teach recipes, create fermented foods together, swap tricks and tips, and enjoy the company of other local bacteria whisperers. We offer this class for free with a suggested donation of $5 to help us keep the lights on at the Grange and cover costs of samples. Please stop in and join us!
Join the mailing list for an update about next month’s topic!
By Popular Demand:
Tedi’s Kombucha Recipe and Instructions
How to make your own SCOBY. (From The Kitchn.com)
How to make your own Kombucha (Cultures for Health Video)
You will need:
a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria + Yeast)
1-3 cups raw, unflavored Kombucha (This is called your starter tea.)
a stainless steel pot that will hold at least 6 cups water.
(Do not use aluminum or teflon pots. Use stainless steel. I can always find them at thrift stores.)
a 1-gallon glass jar
a wooden spoon
Organic Cane Sugar
Organic Black Tea
a paper towel or piece of an old T-Shirt
a rubber band
White Vinegar. All utensils and hands should be free of any residue, soap, or antibacterial spray. Use white vinegar on ALL items and hands then rinse with water.
One-Gallon Sweet Tea Recipe
10-12 cups bottled water, total. (Depending on how much starter Kombucha you use.)
1-cup Organic Cane Sugar. (Do not use honey.)
10 grams loose black tea or 5 black tea bags
(Assam Black Tea, English Breakfast Tea) As long as the tea does not have any oil extracts. I EXCLUSIVELY USE ASSAM BLACK TEAS NOW. It does not leave a bitter tea aftertaste.
I make a tea concentrate by using only 6 cups water to brew my tea. I put the room temperature tea concentrate into the gallon jar then add water to the level I want.
In a stainless steel pot that will hold 6 cups of water:
Bring 6 cups of bottled water to an almost boil, or bring to a boil and let cool slightly. Tea will be bitter if put in boiling water.
Add 1-cup organic sugar, stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. (Do not use a metal spoon.)
Add 5 tea bags or 10 grams loose tea as listed above.
Cover and let steep until room temperature. I usually leave it overnight. It must be room temperature or it will kill your SCOBY.
FOR THE FIRST TIMERS: This is called the 1st Fermentation Process.
Put your 1-3 cups starter Kombuch in the gallon jar.
Add your room temperature 6 cups of sweet tea. (Remove the tea bags/strain the loose tea.)
Add Bottled water to just below the rounded shoulders of the top of the jar. (SCOBYS do best if they float in the widest part of the jar, not in the narrower top of the jar.)
Place your SCOBY on top of the sweet tea/Komucha mixture. It’s okay if it sinks.
Cover with a paper towel/old piece of a T-shirt and a rubber band.
Put the jar in a dark place where it will not be disturbed. In 5 days you can start to “taste” your Kombucha. I like mine at 7-10 days. It will get less sweet each day. Just take the paper towels off and stick a clean straw alongside the Scoby and taste. If possible, do not move the jar until you are sure you are ready to drink it and make another batch.
If you are ready to drink your Kombucha, now is the time to flavor it:
Bottle your Kombucha then put in fresh fruit, dried fruit or fruit juice. You can add Herbs too! I made a very delicious Lemon Thyme/Lemon and a Rosemary Mint.
You may refrigerate and drink now.
Or, follow the instructions below for a 2nd FERMENTATION
I only fill the bottles up to the neck. I leaving extra room for all the goodies I add to float. If the bottle is too full, the dried fruit and berries clog the neck and make a huge mess when I open them.
Bottle your Kombucha. Add your flavorings.
DO NOT drink now and DO NOT refrigerate.
Leave the bottled Kombucha on the counter in an airtight bottle for al least 2-3 days, this will create some FIZZ and some alcohol in your Kombucha. Be sure to release pressure from the bottles daily. I like mine best at 5 days on this 2nd Fermentation.
I like to add 2 raisins to each bottle for Fizz along with chopped, dried or fresh fruit and ginger.
I juice Ginger and freeze it in long, thin ice cube trays. Chopped and grated Ginger is fine too.
Pureed fresh fruit is also great to freeze.
I keep organic frozen blueberries at all times. I just drop 8-10 into each bottle. Super easy and quick.
Strawberries and dried pineapple create the most amount of fizz. Watch Out!
Be creative. I have never made a flavoring I did not like. Ginger is my favorite, lemon my least favorite. Here is my most favorite, favorite recipe!
Ginger Kombucha Recipe. In a 32 oz swing top bottle add:
2-3 teaspoons ginger juice
1 Tablespoon organic sugar
Let if ferment for 5 days or more.
Just the best drink ever!
I did many experiments with making simple syrups, fruit purees and such. One morning I had 6 bottles that needed their flavoring and I was in a hurry. I popped in my frozen Ginger juice “sickles” and put in 1 Tablespoon granulates sugar and it turned out to be the best recipe yet! I had read that you could not use granulated sugar and needed to make a simple syrup, evidently it is not true.
I gift flavored Kombucha and tell my friends that they need to drink it within one week. I do not know for sure how long it will last in the fridge because I drink mine as fast as I can make it.